The government have announced today that The Mobility Allowance Scheme and the Motorised Transport Grant are both now closed to new applicants with immediate effect. Payment of the Mobility Allowance to those who are currently in receipt will continue for another four months while a replacement scheme is worked out.
About 4,700 people receive a Mobility Allowance and 300 people a year receive a Motorised Transport Grant.
The Mobility Allowance is a monthly payment made by the Health Service Executive to people with a severe disability, who are unable to walk and who would benefit from trips away from home. It has been in place since 1979 and is worth a maximum of just over €208 a month.
It has been known since 2008 that both schemes are illegal because they discriminate on age (Upper limit of 66) .
A government press release stated : “Following detailed consideration of issues surrounding the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant, the Government has today decided that it is no longer possible to allow the two schemes to continue as they presently operate and to devise an alternative scheme for meeting people’s needs.”
“It is important to note that the decision is in no way intended to save costs and the funding involved in the two schemes (€10.6 million) remains committed to meeting the transport needs of relevant people.”